Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Primary Children’s Hospital Ward, 1940

Primary Children’s Hospital Ward, 1940

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 01, 2014





  1. It looks like they’re on a sleeping porch? Or a walkway of some kind? The kids are bundled up, so it can’t be summer, right? Overcrowding? Maybe this was standard care at the time, but it looks pretty bad, doesn’t it?

    Comment by Gary Bergera — July 1, 2014 @ 11:35 am

  2. Yeah, Gary, I agree; this ain’t the idyllic photo you sometimes see in Church magazines.

    Sick and suffering kids . . . oh, there’s nothing worse. God bless these caretakers here.

    Comment by David Y. — July 1, 2014 @ 11:47 am

  3. I wonder if they moved the kids outside during the day to get some fresh air. It does look like a porch–windows on the left and openings without glass on the right–there’s no woodwork (no stops or quarter round) on those posts on the right to hold glass in place. In addition, any glass in those spaces would have been the size of plate windows in a department store–beyond the hospital’s budget, I suspect.

    Comment by Mark B. — July 1, 2014 @ 11:59 am

  4. The openings on the left have drop down blinds that have been pulled up by cords which are fastened to cleats. So this does look like an attempt to give the children some fresh air. The nurses are in short sleeves, but some of the sicker of the children are bundled up, lest tey get cold.

    Comment by LauraN — July 1, 2014 @ 12:32 pm

  5. The building, which has been converted to apartments now, does have very wide porches or balconies, so I’ll bet you’re right that this was a temporary daily move fir fresh air. That might also explain the chipped paint on the beds — you might keep your best things inside for regular use, but move the older, more worn things to a secondary place.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 1, 2014 @ 1:23 pm

  6. Oh,man. Now I wish I’d given more nickels and dimes.

    Comment by Grant — July 1, 2014 @ 1:23 pm

  7. blueagleranch had trouble posting a comment yesterday, so sent this privately. I feel kinda dumb — I know when they moved to the new hospital, but somehow blanked on that yesterday. Thanks, blueagleranch, for this information:

    “Ardis, I think this image was taken when Primary Children’s Hospital was on North Temple where the Conference Center now is (just about the middle of the block). The hospital didn’t move to the Twelfth Avenue location until 1952. It is this second location that has been converted to apartments.

    “When the hospital was located on North Temple, it was primarily a convalescent hospital for surgeries (performed at LDS Hospital) and for chronic illnesses. Fresh air therapy would have been standard for some of those chronic illnesses, such as tuberculosis.”

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 2, 2014 @ 7:01 am

  8. It looks like a room full of baby prison cells, cribs have sure changed a lot over the years

    Comment by andrew h — July 3, 2014 @ 1:06 am

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